Statement from San Luis Valley Board of County Commissioners
February 4, 202
Douglas County Board of County Commissioners
100 Third Street
Castle Rock, CO 80104
Douglas County Board of County Commissioners,
As fellow County Commissioners, we recognize your desire to provide a sustainable water source for your citizens. We understand the desire to be good stewards of the ARPA funds and to make a lasting impact with that investment.
We appreciate your investigation into what the impacts of the proposed Renewable Water Resources project would be. You have heard many statistics, listened to several experts, and entertained a few money motivated project proponents. It’s easy to get lost in the details, but really it is quite simple. There is no perpetual water source.
The RWR proposal submitted to Douglas County includes the statement:
“The project is premised on the development of renewable groundwater that is replenished by the hydrologic cycle. Therefore, this groundwater supply would be a perpetual water supply.”
The premise is false.
If we had a “perpetual” water supply there would be no water shortage issues in the San Luis Valley. We would simply pump from this ever-renewed source to remedy our water dilemma.
At the very foundation of our existence in the San Luis Valley, is water. We have a saying, Agua es Vida – Water is Life, and we are committed to preserving this lifeblood for our citizens because 28.3% of the total jobs in the San Luis Valley are in agribusiness.(i) The San Luis Valley produces over $369.7 million annually in agricultural products such as barley, potatoes, cattle and hay.(ii) It is folly to think that moving water out of the San Luis Valley will not affect our way of life.
The proposal from RWR is a threat to the life we are already struggling to maintain. Frankly, we think the use of Federal funds to take the livelihood from an area whose median income is $37,663(iii) to increase the population of Douglas County, median income $119,730,(iv) is insulting.
We respectfully ask that, out of concern for your fellow Coloradans and as good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars, you pursue the RWR project no further.
Alamosa County Commissioners
Conejos County Commissioner
Costilla County Commissioners
Mineral County Commissioners
Rio Grande County Commissioners
(i)San Luis Valley Basic Industry, 2019, State Demography Office, 2021 SLV Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, 8/15/21
(ii) Colorado Agriculture, Colorado Department of Agriculture brochure
(iii) Income, 2015 – 2019 ACS, San Luis Valley Statistical Profile, March 1, 2021, San Luis Valley Development Resources Group
(iv) Douglas County Demographic Summary, Department of Community Development, Douglas County